Lessons Learned on a Spending Sabbatical

Many people complain about the “consumer treadmill,” but few are willing to actually step off. An article on MSN recently profiled someone who did. Judith Levine spent a year buying only essentials—no movies, no restaurant meals, no ice cream. While her spending sabbatical enabled her to pay off nearly $8,000 in credit card debt, she also found more meaning in a life of less spending. “You not only learn what you can live without, but what you really want to spend your money on.” Today she devotes more of her time and money to causes she believes in.
h3(matt). Matt’s View
p(matt). Levine also had some interesting observations about the social nature of spending. She saw how getting together with friends often seems to require spending money. While some friends began to feel penalized for getting together with her (“Oh Judith, not another walk!”), she found many others were interested in managing their money more effectively and appreciated her suggestions for free entertainment, like going to museums when admission is free.

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